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Kalpna

  • Vegetarian
    ( 22 reviews )
Contact 0131-6679890
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2-3 St. Patrick Square (at Nicolson St), Edinburgh, Scotland, EH8 9EZ

Veggie restaurant since 1983 with change of ownership in 2015. Specializes in traditional South Indian vegetarian cuisine and thali. All-you-can eat buffet at lunchtime.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Indian, Buffet, Beer/Wine, Catering

Reviews (22)

First Review by feorag

Boring and flavourless - Edit

I was disappointed with the food here. The veg curry was lacking in spices and flavour, the other dishes were equally dull. The curries I make at home are a thousand times better.

Pros: Quick in and out., Kingfisher beer on tap, very nice and refreshing.

Cons: Seemingly amateur chef with no no idea how Indian


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Doesn't knock my socks off - Edit

Kalpna might have been a gem a decade ago, but it's getting long in the tooth and deterioration is in evidence. It seems they missed the chance to renew not only furniture and cutlery and so on but their whole service model.
The food was still good though. Just note that you won't get rice with some dishes unless you order it separately (at extra cost).
However, I would consider Kalpna to serve authentic Indian food. I've been just a bit disappointed by an a bit distracted service.

Pros: authentic Indian food, long-serving vegetarian

Cons: ageing, service not the best


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Kalpna :( - Edit

I'm not a fan of leaving bad reviews, but this is something people should be aware of. I ate the lunch buffet here at the end of August with a group of friends. Half of us ate some rice with our meals, while the other half did not. All of us who ate the rice started feeling unwell that evening. Sadly I ate a lot of rice and became severely ill for over a week. I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone as this is the sickest I've been in about 7 years and I wouldn't want anyone else to have to feel this grim.

Pros: Mostly vegan, Food is really tasty, Cheap


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long established - Edit

I love Kalpna, its has survived for years due to its quality. Indian based food, but not curry based. Great selection, and dishes packed with fresh produce. A must!
Although The lunch buffet only has three mains each day, they are rarely the same.

as of july 2015 it is under new ownerership. i have been to the buffet twice and its not been as good....i fear change.



Updated from previous review on Thursday May 22, 2014

Pros: great food, good people


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Delicious, friendly and unexpensive - Edit

Delicious food for resonable amount of money, really friendly, helpful and kind stuff members. oh, and they have an open buffet for 8 pounds per person. Great deal!!! :-)
I highly recommend this place!

Pros: Tasty food for reasonable price, almost everything vegan, friendly and attentive staff members


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Vegan? Wouldn't bother... - Edit

Yeah, there's the vegan thali on the menu, it's fine,but remarkably ordinary and not that cheap.
The staff were pleasant, and the vegetarians I was with seemed happy enough and it was an easy place to come as a large group.
I won't be back though.

Pros: Nice enough place.

Cons: Pretty unremarkable.


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Decent food, good variety, helpful staff... - Edit

We had seen the Kalpna had an all-you-can-eat buffet while we were visiting Edinburgh and so decided to fill up on our last day before we took the train out of town. When we arrived with our suitcases, we were kindly shown a place to store them out of the way. Checking out the food, I noticed there were a good number of reasonably different salads, puri, cauliflower and potato (separately) pakoras, rice and three curries (lentil dhal, chickpea masala, mushroom and spinach). All of these were vegan except one yoghurt dish and this was confirmed for me by one of the helpful staff. We were encouraged to eat as much as we wanted and there was nothing to give us a sense that we should stop eating after a polite amount. As it happened I didn't have a massive appetite on this occasion, but I still felt I got a good deal for £8. I'd come back regularly for a decent lunch.

Pros: Good variety and quality for the price, Friendly, helpful staff


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Ok for one meal - Edit

At the Kalpna Restaurant I had a buffet lunch and while I thought the food not much varied, it still tasted good. Unfortunately, service was not very friendly and the food and how the buffet worked were not explained at all, even when I asked. In the end I found out that except the desert and one sauce everything was vegan.
Altogether it was ok to have a meal here, but considering all the choices in Edinburgh, I wouldn't visit again. Although I might, because reading all the good reviews here, I wonder if maybe I just picked an unlucky day!

Pros: Almost everything vegan, Buffet lunch

Cons: Unfriendly service when I visited


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Not very impressed - Edit

I've eaten here quite a few times as I live in and around Edinburgh and I've not been impressed each time. I've eaten a thali here which was OK, but I didn't find it very filling and it's quite pricey. I've also had their lunch time buffet which is good value for money. Personally I wouldn't bother with their dosa - it's not very good - if you really want a dosa I'd go to Tanjore which is a south indian restaurant just down the road where, although serving meat, they do do an extremely good dosa (well at least 5 out of 6 times that I've been there). I think overall you can get better vegan food elsewhere.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday November 05, 2013

Pros: Lunch buffet is good value for money

Cons: Terrible dosa


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fantastic vegan food! - Edit

Beautiful restaurant, warm and welcoming.

I've been here a few times now and I'm never disappointed.

The staff are lovely. Cheerful and friendly.

The food was beautiful. Lots of depth to the flavours. They even prepared our vegan food gluten free at our request.

No other curry house comes close to this one. My all time favourite.


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Nice atmosphere - Edit

The vegan choice is not huge, but there is a delicious vegan thali, served in beautiful bowls and a tray. Really worth going for, just for this. Lovely decor and atmosphere.

Pros: vegan dish, atmosphere

Cons: little vegan choice


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Good food, lunchtime buffet good value. - Edit

I ate here in January 2011 with my partner, during a city break to Edinburgh. We ate at lunchtime, when the restaurant offers an 'all you can eat' buffet for £7.00 per head. I consider that good value, particularly so as the city in general is hideously expensive.
The food was very tasty and made with fresh veg, it had a home-made style to it. I would have preferred a bit more choice, and my particular favourite style of curry (very hot, rich and saucy, e.g. vindaloo, or balti (extra hot !)) was unfortunately not on offer at the buffet. The staff and the setting were pleasant. I waddled away happy - recommended.


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The best Indian food ANYWHERE! - Edit

I first visited over Kalpna 20 years ago and recently returned after a very long absence. I must say that the food is as good as ever and thoroughly enjoyed the excellent value vegan thali (£13.95). It was just as I remember it and when the food is as good as this you can't criticise a lack of innovation. To summarise, the food is perfectly spiced, fresh and the assortment of dishes was intelligently considered. The Gujurati dishes on offer show most Indian restaurants up as pale imitations of authentic cuisine. The decor is clean and bright but nothing to get excited about. Service was attentive but not overbearing. I have no qualms about recommending Kalpna if you are looking for a top class vegetarian meal in Edinburgh.

Pros: Superb food, Good value, Attentive staff

Cons: Relatively limited vagan choice


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I HEART Kalpna - Edit

Went here on Sunday the 8th, had the vegan thaali, 6 courses for 13.95 a serious bargain. we were both completely stuffed. 2 meals and 2 beers for 35 incl tip. This was the best indian I've had in my life (even when I used to eat meat!) Service was quick. Only let down was 1 of the waiters we had was really nice, but the other a bit cold.

Pros: taste, volume, value

Cons: 1 grumpy staff member


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Kalpna, Edinburgh - Edit

I went here for lunch on the first Saturday in June. It was a self serve buffet set up with various starters and a choice of three curries none of which I am pleased to say were overly chillied. All of the dishes were vegan vego friendly apart from the one of the dips made with yoghurt. The potato pakora starter was delicious as were the curries and the biryani rice offered with them. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and at £7 it seems very good value for hard earned dosh.

The settings are pleasantly done out and the atmo is relaxed. All in all a massive winner for me. I rocked along with a bunch of omnivorous friends for whom it was also clean plates and thumbs up all round.

I look forward to returning.

Pros: Vegan vego friendly, Great food, Great value


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Great Traditional Food - Edit

A super restaurant, very well run and established in Edinburgh. Not the typical meals one might expect in an Indian restaurant such as madras, bhuna etc but wonderful regional dishes from the area of the owner's homeland (southern Indian I think). Reminds me very much of the excellent Hansas vegetarian Gujarati restaurant in Leeds (see my review for that). The Dosa's are fabulous. Service is quick and friendly, but make sure you go early if you want to enjoy a dining experience to remember as they do like guests to leave promptly when it's closing time (although this may have changed since our visit in August 2007). Overall, a fine place, if you like Indian food and are vegetarian it is essential when in Edinburgh. All types of palate a catered for ranging from very mild fragrant dishes to the more spicy ones.

Pros: food, staff


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Great Indian Food - Edit

Well, not that much to say except that the food is great and surely worth trying. I went there with a group of non-vegetarians, some not very well versed in Indian food and everyone enjoyed it.

Pros: Food, Atmosphere


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Quality Veggie Indian food - Edit

Was pleasantly surprised to find such a beautifully decorated Indian Veggie restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh. Menu was well planned. Starters were good but the portions could have been slightly bigger. Lassi was the finest I've ever had in the UK. Mains were very delicious too and the portions were decent. Pricing was slightly on the higher side but can't complain much about that.

Pros: authentic taste, nice decor, central location

Cons: pricey


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A great find - Edit

This place is a little gem. Attractively decorated and quite small, it was busy even on the Monday night I visited. The range of dishes on offer was great and the food, when it arrived, was really excellent. I would have preferred my kheer, which I ordered cold, to have been more set but that's just very personal taste. The staff were friendly and helpful, the food arrived promptly and prices are reasonable. What more could you ask for?

Pros: excellent food, good staff, pleasant decor

Cons: none


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Posh Indian - Edit

I recently visited Kalpna for the first time since the redecoration, and the new look is superb. If you are familiar with Indian mirrored embroidery, imagine that in cream-coloured plasterwork.

I'd been putting off my return because the prices have gone up quite steeply - £13.50 for the vegan thali - but I had something to celebrate. I opted for the thali; my (omni) partner for one of the seasonal specials - paneer dumplings with pomegranate and other fruits in a creamy sauce.

And soon we learned that the increase in quality far outweighed the increase in price - the food was stunning in both flavour and presentation. The thali starter came first, and was presented with a fresh fruit and mint chutney, and sev, delicately scattered on the plate. The thali itself included three curries, bread, rice, mango pulp, tamarind sauce, and a dessert, none of them your conventional curry house fare.

The green-vegetable averse and omni partner complained that he didn't think he had that much choice, but he enjoyed what he did have.

Pros: spectacular food, good vegan choices, interesting menu

Cons: expensive (but worth it!)


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